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Re: re: _Nanosaurus_ extract



At 5:03 AM 8/21/95, P2158753@vmsuser.acsu.unsw.EDU.AU wrote:
>Thanks Jerry (and Dan), I was not aware of this latest work -
>sometimes these things take a while to filter down to us
>antipodes.  Interestingly however, I noticed that the authors
>only compared matrix from the _Hallops_ block with the
>sandstone below *The Nipple*.  While their evidence for
>the homogeneity of these two sample is compelling, additional
>comparisons, for example with similar sandstones from the
>Ralston Creek Formation (which incidentally they note
>outcrops immediately below *The Nipple* ) would have been
>useful and may have strengthened their argument somewhat
>(in my mind anyway).

        Actually, at the Nipple, the Ralston Creek oucrops are several
hundred feet below (through what the Denver Museum has termed the "Valley
of Death," an accurate name, right Mickey?  ;-)   ).  I never looked at it
closely, but from what my memory is delving up I recall seeing mostly
massive red sadnstones, without the thinner shelves of the overlying
Morrison.  Then again, as I said, I didn't examine it very closely...

>Whatever sort of crocodylomorph _Hallops_ is, the basic ground
>plan to which it agrees -  an agile cursorial beast with
>presumably a deep narrow rostrum with sword-like *ziphodont*
>teeth -  is an adaptive complex which has evolved
>independently a number of times during the course of
>crocodylomorph evolution.  Presumably such crocs occupied a
>similar ecological niche to that of extant varanids.  While
>varanids do involve themselves in the odd *egg snatch*, they
>are highly opportunistic: insects, small vertebrates, and
>occasional nibblies off rotting carcases constitute most of their
>diet.  I envision similar foraging strategies for these small
>terrestrial crocodylomorphs.  Just because some of these
>animals lived along side dinosaurs does not mean their life
>revolved around them as well.

        Oops...didn't mean to imply that these cursorial crocs were _only_
eating eggs -- and I don't think Kirkland was, either (the article is in
the _Dinosaur Eggs and Babies_ book).  Sorry for the confusion.  You're
correct in that Kirkland drew the analogy to the occasionally egg-stealing
varanids; that's all I was trying to do, too!  8-)



Jerry D. Harris
Schuler Museum of Paleontology
Southern Methodist University
Box 750395
Dallas  TX  75275-0395
jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu
        (Compuserve:  73132,3372)

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TITLE OF A REAL SCIENTIFIC PAPER:

"South American Animals and Their Lice"

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